Sunday, November 25, 2012

Interview with Nina Albee, Contributor to On Our Own: Widowhood for Smarties

Today I'm interviewing Nine Abnee, one of the talented contributors to On Our Own:  Widowhood for Smarties, published by Silver Boomer Books.  Nina's piece is titled "What I Learned When My Husband Died."

TZ:  Your piece is about what to do when your spouse dies.  How have you coped since?

NA: I live in the present as much as I can.  I sold my house this year and moved from a 4000 square foot house to a 1500 square foot apartment.  It took me 3 years to get the house ready to sell, a year to sell it and 6 months to settle into my new place.  It was really, really hard work and difficult to downsize, but it has also been therapeutic and freeing.  So I guess I've coped by moving on.  I also have a very demanding job and wonderful daughters so I have a full life.

TZ:  What's been the hardest thing about widowhood?

NA:  The little things are harder than the big ones.  My oldest daughter just got married  and it was hard not to have him there, and everyone thinks of the holidays as hard.  But I think daily life is harder.  First, I have to do absolutely everything on my own.  Of course, I have help from friends and family, but cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaners, plumbers, Christmas decorations, travel arrangements and so on--it is exhausting.  And the daily chores are not as much fun when you don't have someone to share them with or complain about them.  And it sounds silly, but watching TV alone is often a bit lonely.  Whether it is news or football or a TV show, I always want to call someone and talk about it.  I have friends over but then that requires some level of entertaining.  Even if we weren't talking, it was nice to have someone in the house, a silent companion.  It is easier to handle the big things.  We have taken a family trip every Christmas since he died and we've really enjoyed them.  You make a plan for the big stuff but the little stuff requires coping.

TZ:  I could have written that answer above myself. 
        What are you most proud of that you've accomplished as a widow?

NA:  There are several things that I am proud of but I think the most important one is that I have learned to be okay with being alone.  In fact, I have come to like the peacefulness of being all alone in my home with myself.  People ask me if I want to date, and I don't.  I think they think there is something wrong with me but I don't feel the need to start up a relationship with someone else and it feels too hard to let someone new into my life.  I am too busy and I have a demanding job and am the single parent of two daughters and two dogs.  Okay, the daughters are adults, but I'm still their only parent.

TZ:  Tell us about your writing background.  What are you currently working on?

NA:  I have learned a lot about marriage and relationships with my new perspective as a widow.  The essay in this book was my first attempt to put this learning in writing.  I would like to write a book that offers learning through storytelling.  My goal is to have a good draft by July 25, 2013.  My husband died on July 25, 2003, so it will have been 5 years.  My writing goal for now is to give advice to women who are still married about what I have learned about marriage.

TZ:  Thanks so much!



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